Why No Access to Gamstop?
Over the past few years, the UK Gambling Commission has made clear its intention to do everything possible to protect online gamblers from rogue online gambling operators and themselves. It is one of the primary reasons why an organization like Gamstop exists.
Gamstop is an online registry that allows online gamblers to self-exclude themselves from having access to any gambling sites that have partnered with the Gamstop organization. Registration is free, and registered gamblers are protected from their problem gambling issues for as long as they requested exclusion during the registration process. For information on websites that have partnered with Gamstop, players can visit Casinomir.
It is interesting to note that approximately 35% of all online gambling operators register and licensed in the UK don’t offer gamblers access to the Gamstop registry. That means they have not taken the opportunity or time to register as a partner casino. Is that a problem?
Why Would a UK Online Casino Not Offer Access to Gamstop?
The answer to this important question warrants close scrutiny. Registration for both partner gambling websites and gamblers is free. The registration process takes no more than a few minutes to complete for either party. After factoring in that online gambling providers already have a moral and legal obligation to look out for problem gamblers, there has to be a reason why they would not want to use such a tried and true automated self-exclusion system.
The reality is a lot of gamblers see Gamstop as an infringement on their rights to gamble as they see fit. They do not appreciate the idea of “big brother” sitting in the wings, judging them based on their gambling activities. Because some gamblers feel this way, there are operators that prefer to eliminate features that make their clientele feel uncomfortable. This is the best case scenario.
In the worst case scenario, there are online gambling operators that do not want to take responsibility for their customers. They want to provide gambling services and let the “cards” fall where they may. This might seem like a rather shortsighted view for an online gambling site to take towards its legal obligation to protect problem gamblers, but some sites take this position anyway.
The UK Gambling Commission to Intervene?
In the eyes of the powers to be at the UK Gambling Commission, Gamstop has been an extraordinarily successful program. So much so that rumblings are coming out of the Commission that they may soon rule that Gamstop membership is mandatory for all online gambling providers that wish to do business in the UK.
To be clear, the Commission’s authority to make such decisions has been set forth by Parliament. As indicated above, the UK Gambling Commission’s number one goal is to protect the country and its people from problem gambling issues. By mandating Gamstop membership, problem gamblers would have unfettered access to register with Gamstop. Should any gambling site fail to gain membership, they would be subject to losing their licensing.